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South Africa's Unique Fynbos
Fynbos, or the Cape Floral Kingdom, is the smallest of the world’s six plant kingdoms only covering 0,4% of the earth’s surface. According to its size it is the most species-rich plant kingdom, boasting 8600 species, of which 68% occur nowhere else in the world! The two main habitats of fynbos are mountains and lowlands (coast).
Fynbos is the common name for the fine leafed, thick, shrub-like vegetation which occurs in the winter rainfall area of Western Cape. There are three main plant types: ericas, restios and proteas. There are also a variety of bulbous and tuberous plants, legumes, buchu’s, renostebos, slangbos and everlastings that form part of the fynbos.
Although the fynbos appear lush and green it is quick to burn. Fires are therefore restricted to designated safe sites. The biggest threats to fynbos are veld fires, alien vegetation and injudicious harvesting and development.